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Obesity and Dutch ovens

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A break from politics in this forum.

 

The recent Scouter had a good article from the Chief Scout Executive about obesity and the need for scouts and scouters to be trim & fit. I do not resemble his goals but I agree with him. As I thumbed through the issue, I saw the article on Dutch ovens. I am a fan of Dutch oven cooking but the dishes that I am aware are desserts or other high calorie dishes. Since the Dutch oven and charcoal is heavy, this is not a backpacking activity but rather dump camping. The dump camping experience can be very active but it can also be relatively low energy expenditure activities. So I believe that the two articles should not have appeared in the same issue. Also, Dutch oven cooking should have a discussion on caloric content along with descriptions of activities prior to the evening meal appropriate for that level of caloric content. Maybe something about serving sizes as well.

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"...the two articles should not have appeared in the same issue."

 

I don't see a problem with having both articles in the same issue; after all, DO cooking isn't inherently bad for your health anymore than electric oven cooking is. Hopefully there is room in the Scouting program for health and fitness AND DO cooking - even the occasional desert!

 

For recipes besides desert, try http://papadutch.home.comcast.net/~papadutch/dutch-oven-recipes.htm , this site has recipes for poultry, sides, even vegetarian dishes! I would like to see, and expect they are coming, more articles on fitness and health in future issues - including Boy's Life. It's good to see the BSA bringing additional focus this health issue.

 

Maybe we volunteers can encourage the Scouts to earn the BSA Fitness Award! http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/Publications/PhysicalFitness.aspx

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I agree we need to trim down. I could lose some weight.

 

We've been making low cal deserts with our dutch oven for a few years. Many of the recipies that rely on fat and flour can be more healthy.

 

There are ways to create low/no sugar cooked deserts.

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Good point, eghiglie.

 

Substituting Splenda for sugar in the recipes cuts a lot a calories while maintaining sweetness. The exchange rate is right on the bag (of Splenda) and works great. Our family's been using Slenda for a long time. For baked goods (like in a DO) we use a mix of Splenda/sugar.

 

And let's not forget the DO is great for NON-dessert items, too. Anything that can be cooked in your home oven and be cooked in your DO!

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Teach healthy eating habits. That has nothing to do with what tools you use to prepare your meals.

 

I think people get used to the syrup-heavy cobblers and dump cake recipes because of their simplicity.Our University of Scouting has a duch oven cooking curriculum that is hosted by our local chapter of the Dutch Oven Society. They make just about anything you can think of (and take requests for next year's recipes).

 

 

As for alternative sweeteners, some people can have adverse reactions to them or just plain don't like the taste. So before you use them, make sure everyone who will be consuming the food is ok with that.

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Work out with the DOs before cooking. (That's the Actifed talking.)

 

In all seriousness, people aren't obese because they Dutch Oven splurge once a month on a camp out. It's the other 28 days a month that really count.

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It is clear that diets high in carbohydrates are one of the main problems with obesity in this country. The high carbohydrate diet coupled with limited activity (not working 10 hours on the farm doing manual labor) is making us obese. The steep incline in obesity rates correlates with the emphasis on eating large amounts of pasta in the 1980's. That said, splenda or not, Dutch oven meals are usually not so good for us. If the scouts are wishing to emphasis being fit and trim, should they have avoided a fitness and weight loss article with Dutch oven cooking? I think so. I love Dutch oven cooking but it is usually not healthy food and may involve a less than strenuous outing.

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Cobbler is a nice starter to introduce people to he Dutch oven - but the real fun is expanding the range of foods to cook your breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Dutch oven. My son bought a Dutch oven cookbok from the Scout Shop and we've been having a great time with it. The scouts love it.

 

Dutch ovens do NOT need to be the camp sugar snack oven.

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A wise Scouter told me a long time ago, "Food eaten outdoors doesn't count". It really is the other 28-30 days a month that impacts your (my) girth.

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As my JASM son pointed out to the new scout patrol that was working on their menu for the upcoming outing........anything you can cook in an oven at home, can be cooked in a dutch oven at camp. DO cooking need not be high carb or calorie.

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Wow...Talk about attacking the holy grail of Scouting! :)

 

Seriously though, as others have said, it's not the Dutch oven meal that is going to kill you. It your lifestyle and nutrition choices the rest of the time. As for caloric intake, you would be amaized how rapidly calorie needs go up in the outdoors. Simply being outdoors, walking, and basic camp chores can raise one's calorie needs by 20% and more. Add in activities and it foes through the roof. As an extreme example, some of you may remember the Steiger Antarctic Expedition in the 80's. Their caloric needs

were so high that they had to consume a pound of raw butter every day just to take in adequate calories.

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Wow...Talk about attacking the holy grail of Scouting! :)

 

Seriously though, as others have said, it's not the Dutch oven meal that is going to kill you. It your lifestyle and nutrition choices the rest of the time. As for caloric intake, you would be amaized how rapidly calorie needs go up in the outdoors. Simply being outdoors, walking, and basic camp chores can raise one's calorie needs by 20% and more. Add in activities and it foes through the roof. As an extreme example, some of you may remember the Steiger Antarctic Expedition in the 80's. Their caloric needs

were so high that they had to consume a pound of raw butter every day just to take in adequate calories.

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